Facebook's Manipulative Emotional Testing of Users Comes under Scrutiny

Facebook is facing increasing scrutiny for its recent experiment which manipulated the emotional response of users without their permission - the Information Commissioner's Office has started an investigation into whether the social media giant has broken data protection laws, while the ISBA (which speaks for the UK ad industry) has also voiced concerns.

The Information Commissioner's Office said in a statement: "We're aware of this issue and will be speaking to Facebook, as well as liaising with the Irish data protection authority, to learn more about the circumstances."

Meanwhile, ISBA Marketing Services Manager, David Ellison, commented: "The idea that the emotions of users can be monitored and manipulated, without their prior knowledge or consent, is of concern. While Facebook has claimed that there was "no unnecessary collection of people's data", this is a psychological study that Facebook admit could have been handled better."

Facebook has defended their actions by saying it was "important to investigate the common worry that seeing friends post positive content leads to people feeling negative or left out". They have admitted however that they did not "clearly state [their] motivations".

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